Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ragland Road Irish Pub

The last stop during my trip to Orlando, was dinner at Ragland Road Irish Pub, located in Downtown Disney. Getting there required a ride on the free shuttle busses run between Disney properties; a ride complete with a vomiting kid who apparently overdid it at the theme park. That obstacle overcome, we arrived at our destination.

Ragland Road is a large place, with both indoor and outdoor seating. We had a table in front of the main stage. The beer menu included the expected Irish ales and a selection of American craft beer. The problem came we tried to read that menu. The area was so dark that we had to dig out our phones to use as flashlights. Now, I have not had a Guinness since our trip to Ireland. The ubiquitous Guinness just tasted so good there, it didn't have the same attraction once home. However, I decided to go with the flow, and selected the Guinness Stout as my beverage that evening.

Beer selection done, I turned my attention to the food menu. Again, out came the iPhone flashlight app. The food selection is quite extensive and my decision was a tough one. I finally decided on the Banger & Booz — Guinness & onion bangers on mash, topped with caramelized onions & beef stew. Due to the lack of lighting at our table, I really never got a good look at my meal, but I can report it was delicious. The sausage and mashed potatoes were served in a dish of hearty beef stew. It reminded me somewhat of the stew I had in Ireland. I also enjoyed some of the tender calamari appetizer shared by the table.

In an interesting twist, one of my dining companions and coworkers is a native Irishman and resident of Dublin. He busied himself with the American craft ales instead of the Irish selections. He enjoyed his Fish & Chips, though admitted he rarely ordered it back home. The musical and dancing entertainment was quite loud, and made conversation difficult, and limited to the person seated next to you. The banter from the Irish band came with such a deep brogue that it elicited one of the funniest comments of the evening when my Irish friend noted, "He's quite hard to understand isn't he?"

I started out with not high hopes regarding Ragland Road. I figured it would be a tourist trap made for Disney. The pub's draw for many is the music and dancing, with the lighting focused on the stage and the music loud. However, the food was well-done and even the Guiness was a treat. I'll go back when I am next in Orlando.

2 comments:

  1. Guinness is probably the Anheuser-Busch of Ireland at this point. There's a budding craft brew movement growing there recorded by The Beer Nut.

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    1. We enjoyed a few of those craft beers during our trip to Ireland. I've even had a few that were gifted to me buy visiting Irish friends. Doubt the Irish will ever give up on Guinness though!
      Cheers!

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